//  Critical Acclaim

Elektra / Lyric Opera

“As Chrysothemis, Elektra’s relatively normal sister, Elza van den Heever proved a vocally well-matched sibling for Stemme’s anti-heroine. The statuesque singer unleashed reams of luxuriant soprano tone in her big moments yet also conveyed the timid, fearful qualities of a woman longing to escape this royal house of horrors for the haven of a simple domestic life.”

Chicago Classical Review

“The forthright meeting of the two sisters — an argument, really — was an early musical and dramatic high point. The flitting radiance of South African soprano Elza van den Heever, as a sparkling and quite feminine Chrysothemis who longs for love and motherhood, made a thrilling counterpoint to Elektra’s heedless determination. One sister’s wish had no place in the other sister’s plan, notwithstanding the heavenly blend of their paired voices. Yet the easy, intimate nature of their body language made them instantly believable as sisterly combatants.”

Chicago Sun Times

“Elza van den Heever makes a deeply sympathetic, crucially feminine Chrysothemis, Elektra’s pitiable sister. With a graceful stage presence and sweet but full lyric voice, van den Heever is the perfect foil to Stimme’s angular embodiment of madness.”


“Elza van der Heever was a wonderful Chrysothemis, her voice warm and bronzed, with beautiful high notes sustained by a powerful middle range. I was impressed by her legato in the upper register, which helped in painting Chrysothemis as a tragic figure, a stark contrast to the weak, silly girl that she sometimes results.”


“Vital to this production, and in the spirit of Strauss’s conception, is Elektra’s interactions with others – both in and beyond her immediate family. The hesitant notes expressed by Van Den Heever’s entrance prompt Elektra to dwell on the potential malleability of her sister in securing an ally. The voices of both sopranos mingle, at rimes, in lyrical union until the failure of any cooperation becomes clear to the initiator of vengeful plans.”

Opera Today

“Elza van den Heever brought a full, gleaming sound to Chrysothemis, her portrayal making clear the younger sister’s stirrings of feminine yearning for a domestic existence far removed from Klytemnestra’s decadent court”

Opera Magazine